Unfortunately, truck breakdowns are inevitable. No preventive maintenance program is foolproof and problems can and do occur when your drivers are on the road. Having a relationship with a breakdown service provider can lessen the aggravation of those events and get your drivers back on the road...quickly!
Here are six areas worth investigating to help you find the breakdown service provider you need for those hopefully rare, but critical times when your truck fails on the road:
- Coverage area: You need to know that the service will be available where your trucks are traveling. Depending on your operation, you may only need someone who covers a local area. However, if you are hauling regionally or nationally, make sure the breakdown service can give you coast-to-coast coverage.
- Coverage hours: Ask potential providers what their hours of operation are. If you only operate during regular business hours, you don’t necessarily need a firm that offers assistance 24/7. But if your trucks are on the road at all hours, make sure service is available no matter if it’s two o’clock in the afternoon or two in the morning.
- Technician skill: How well and how quickly a problem will be diagnosed is in direct proportion to the skill set of the technician working on the repair. Ask about the training and credentials of the technicians who will be staffing the breakdown service and the skill level of the technicians at the repair facilities affiliated with the service provider.
- Size/qualifications of repair network: Sometimes a quick fix on the road will be enough; other times the vehicle is going to have to be taken to a service facility for the necessary repair. The number of repair shops in the network is important because you don’t want to lose valuable time waiting for bay space. Ask about the process used to vet service providers that are in the breakdown network to ensure they are well qualified to work on your trucks.
- Response Time: What are the statistics on how quickly service trucks are dispatched to the scene of a breakdown? The faster the dispatch, the faster the diagnosis and repair process can begin.
- Communication: Knowing what’s going on throughout the diagnosis and repair process is especially critical when dealing with an on-road breakdown. Get the details on the repair process and find out what communications methods they use to ensure that you are making informed decisions along the way.